Updated: February 13, 2021 9:14:16 am
Over 50 lakh people have visited the Statue of Unity at Kevadia so far, said Arvind Singh, Secretary, Union Ministry of Tourism, adding that once the pandemic situation improves, the site could expect over one lakh visitors every day.
Singh was speaking at the Association of Domestic Tour Operators (ADTOI) annual convention in Kevadia Friday evening. Right now, the Taj Mahal in Agra is the top tourist destination in the country, clocking up to 70,000 visitors a day.
The Ministry of Tourism is supporting the ADTOI’s convention being held from February 12 to 14, as part of its engagement with the industry, and with a view to push the domestic tourism market.
Rupinder Brar, ADG, Ministry of Tourism, said Kevadia is an ideal example of how tourism can completely turn around the socio-economic situation of a region, generating employment opportunities for thousands of tribals in and around Kevadia.
The Statue of Unity — dedicated to Sardar Vallabhai Patel — is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres. Besides the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the Zarwani waterfalls, a number of tourist attractions have been built in the 7-km area around the statue, such as Jungle Safari, Cactus Park, Children’s Nutrition Park.
Speaking about the convention, Singh said that this Annual Convention is the first major physical event being organised by a stakeholder association post-lockdown. As many as 350-400 delegates, including Government dignitaries, domestic tour operators, airlines officials, and hoteliers are attending the event from all over the country.
Singh said, “India has a robust domestic market which could soften the impact of COVID-19 as compared with nations that rely largely on international tourists. Post lockdown and as the control over the spread of pandemic is achieved, it is widely agreed that domestic tourism will recover faster than international tourism.”
(The writer was the guest of the Ministry of Tourism at ADTOI, Kevadia)
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